Home



Search Site


• • • • • • • • • 

Recent stuff

Nothing Existed Except the Eyes of the Maharshi by N.R. Krishnamurti Aiyer. Oct. 29, 2001

Who Are You? An Interview With Papaji by Jeff Greenwald. Oct. 24, 2001

An Interview with Byron Katie by Sunny Massad. Oct. 23, 2001

An Interview with Douglas Harding by Kriben Pillay. Oct. 21, 2001

The Nectar of Immortality by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. Oct. 18, 2001

The Power of the Presence Part Two by David Godman. Oct. 15, 2001

The Quintessence of My Teaching
by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. Oct. 3, 2001

Interview With David Godman. Sept. 28, 2001

The Power of the Presence Part One by David Godman. Sept. 28, 2001

Nothing Ever Happened Volume 1 by David Godman. Sept. 23, 2001

Collision with the Infinite by Suzanne Segal. Sept. 22, 2001

Lilly of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star by Charlie Hopkins. August 9, 2001


• • • • • • • • • 

Our email address is editor @realization.org.

Copyright 2001 Realization.org.

 

 
 
  CLASSICS
 

Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta
(Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion Sutta)

Samyutta Nikaya LVI.11

Translated by THANISSARO BHIKKU (GEOFFREY DEGRAFF)

Translation revised October 3, 1999

Copyright 1999 Thanissaro Bhikku

This translation is reproduced with permission from AccessToInsight.org where you can find similar translations of more than 600 suttas.

 

INTRODUCTION

This is the Buddha's first discourse, delivered shortly after his Awakening to the group of five monks with whom he had practiced the austerities in the forest for many years. The sutta contains the essential teachings of the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. Upon hearing this discourse, the monk Konda˝˝a attained the first stage of Awakening, thus giving birth to the ariya sangha (Noble Sangha).


THE TEXT

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Varanasi in the Game Refuge at Isipatana. There he addressed the group of five monks:

"There are these two extremes that are not to be indulged in by one who has gone forth. Which two? That which is devoted to sensual pleasure with reference to sensual objects: base, vulgar, common, ignoble, unprofitable; and that which is devoted to self-affliction: painful, ignoble, unprofitable. Avoiding both of these extremes, the middle way realized by the Tathagata -- producing vision, producing knowledge -- leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding.

"And what is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that -- producing vision, producing knowledge -- leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding? Precisely this Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is the middle way realized by the Tathagata that -- producing vision, producing knowledge -- leads to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding.

"Now this, monks, is the noble truth of stress: Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful, separation from the loved is stressful, not getting what is wanted is stressful. In short, the five aggregates of clinging/sustenance are stressful.

"And this, monks, is the noble truth of the origination of stress: the craving that makes for further becoming -- accompanied by passion and delight, relishing now here and now there -- i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming.

"And this, monks, is the noble truth of the cessation of stress: the remainderless fading and cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, and letting go of that very craving.

"And this, monks, is the noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: precisely this Noble Eightfold Path -- right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of stress'...'This noble truth of stress is to be comprehended'...'This noble truth of stress has been comprehended.'

"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of the origination of stress'...'This noble truth of the origination of stress is to be abandoned'...'This noble truth of the origination of stress has been abandoned.'

"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of the cessation of stress'...'This noble truth of the cessation of stress is to be directly experienced'...'This noble truth of the cessation of stress has been directly experienced.'

"Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: 'This is the noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress'...'This noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress is to be developed'...'This noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress has been developed.'

"And, monks, as long as this knowledge and vision of mine -- with its three rounds and twelve permutations concerning these four noble truths as they actually are present -- was not pure, I did not claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its deities, Maras, and Brahmas, with its contemplatives and priests, its royalty and commonfolk. But as soon as this knowledge and vision of mine -- with its three rounds and twelve permutations concerning these four noble truths as they actually are present -- was truly pure, then I did claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its deities, Maras and Brahmas, with its contemplatives and priests, its royalty and commonfolk. Knowledge and vision arose in me: 'Unprovoked is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.'"

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the group of five monks delighted at his words. And while this explanation was being given, there arose to Ven. Konda˝˝a the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.

And when the Blessed One had set the Wheel of Dhamma in motion, the earth deities cried out: "At Varanasi, in the Game Refuge at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by priest or contemplative, deity, Mara or God or anyone in the cosmos." On hearing the earth deities' cry, the deities of the Four Kings' Heaven took up the cry...the deities of the Thirty-three...the Yama deities...the Tusita deities...the Nimmanarati deities...the Paranimmita-vasavatti deities...the deities of Brahma's retinue took up the cry: "At Varanasi, in the Game Refuge at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by priest or contemplative, deity, Mara, or God or anyone at all in the cosmos."

So in that moment, that instant, the cry shot right up to the Brahma worlds. And this ten-thousand fold cosmos shivered and quivered and quaked, while a great, measureless radiance appeared in the cosmos, surpassing the effulgence of the deities.

Then the Blessed One exclaimed: "So you really know, Konda˝˝a? So you really know?" And that is how Ven. Konda˝˝a acquired the name A˝˝a-Konda˝˝a -- Konda˝˝a who knows.

 

This page was published on December 12, 1999 and last revised on May 13, 2000.


Copyright 2001 Realization.org. All rights reserved.